Merit Assessment

Academic Staff (TUCFA)

The performance of academic staff members (Continuing, Contingent Term, Limited Term, Special Limited Term, and Pre-Tenure Track Appointments) is formally reviewed through a two-year process. The reporting period begins July 1 and ends June 30, two years later. For example, July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021 would be one reporting period.

Academic Staff Members

Academic staff members complete a comprehensive report of their teaching, research, and service activities once every two years. In the absence of a report submitted by the academic staff member, the assessment process will normally be based on the portions of the report filled automatically. It is the responsibility of the academic staff member to submit the biennial report if they wish to have additional accomplishments considered as part of the merit assessment process.

Non-tenured Academic Staff Members

Non-tenured academic staff members (Tenure Track, Contingent Term or Limited Term) who have held such positions for five years or less are encouraged to meet with the Department Head and/or Dean in the interim year to discuss their career progress. The Head and/or Dean shall invite all such members to individual meetings during the period between July 1 and September 30 of the interim year. Academic staff are advised to avail themselves of this opportunity.

Merit Assessment Roles and Criteria

Academic staff members are assessed in the areas of research, teaching, and service. Individual Faculty Guidelines may refine and interpret GFC's criteria for assessment (see Academic Staff Criteria & Processes Handbook).

Merit Assessment

Academic staff members are expected to submit a performance report to the Department Head (or equivalent) on a prescribed schedule every two years. 

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Department Heads

The assessment of each academic appointee is normally prepared by the Department Head who is uniquely qualified to assess the impact of the academic’s contribution.

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The Dean holds the ultimate responsibility in the Faculty for the academic merit process and all recommendations of merit increments within their Faculty.

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HR Advisors, Academic

The HR Advisor, Academic supports the performance review and merit assessment process in the faculties for which they are responsible.

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Faculty Merit Committee

The purpose of the Faculty Merit Committee (FMC) is to ensure fairness and equity across the faculty with respect to the distribution of merit increments.

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General Merit Committee

The purpose of the General Merit Committee (GMC) is to evaluate and advise the President on merit increment recommendations to ensure equity and consistency.

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FMC/GMC Merit Timeline

FMC/GMC Timeline - Assessment Year 2019 (evaluating the period July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2019).

If the Collective Agreement deadline falls on a weekend or statutory holiday, the deadline will be moved forward to the next business day

Faculty members are advised to contact their Dean's Office for specific deadlines

Can't meet the deadlines within the prescribed timeline? Contact your HR Advisor, Academic as early as possible to request a deviation.

Note: Appendix 29A of the Collective Agreement outlines steps specific to the Cumming School of Medicine.




Merit increments will be calculated retroactively to July 1 after FMC/GMC deliberations are complete (Dec - Jan) (CA 29.8.3). 

For each Faculty there shall be a regular increment pool on the basis of 1.2 increment units per eligible FTE academic staff member, other than Academic Administrators to be assessed according to 29.6. The dollar value of increment units is established in Schedule A. The pool shall be provided to the Deans’ Offices by August 1. 

(CA 29.3.1)

The performance and status of every Continuing, Contingent Term, Limited Term, Special Limited Term and Pre-Tenure Track Appointment academic staff member shall be formally reviewed on a biennial basis. The biennial period will be two academic years commencing on July 1 and ending on June 30. The assessment will be based on the biennial academic performance report. The increment awarded in the assessment process will apply to each of the current and succeeding years. The deadline for the submission of biennial academic performance reports shall be established by each Faculty. The deadline established shall be no earlier than June 1, nor later than September 1.

*Faculty Members are advised to contact their Dean's Office for faculty specific deadlines.

(CA 29.4.1)

Allow five days for committee to review before meeting.

Prior to the preparation of the draft assessment and merit increment, a Head or equivalent may formally seek the advice of a departmental advisory committee, only if a majority of the department members vote in favour of establishing such a committee. The Provost’s Office and the Faculty Association shall be informed of any departmental decisions to establish or terminate a departmental advisory committee. The committee membership shall be elected by and from all Continuing, Contingent Term, Limited Term, Special Limited Term and Pre-Tenure Track Appointment members in the department.

Discussion by the departmental advisory committee shall be limited to the information provided by the academic staff member. Any information identified as confidential by the academic staff member shall not be shared with the Committee.

The Head shall make the biennial report and any additional materials submitted by the academic staff member available to the committee on a confidential basis for no less than five work days prior to the meeting of the departmental advisory committee. No other materials shall be circulated to the committee without the consent of the academic staff member.

(CA 29.5.6)

By September 8, the Head or equivalent shall prepare a draft assessment and merit increment recommendation based on his/her review of the academic performance report and input received.

(CA 29.5.2)

A copy including both the draft assessment and merit increment recommendation shall be presented to the staff member concerned and an opportunity shall be provided for discussion by September 15.

(CA 29.5.2)

By September 22, following this discussion, the Head may revise the document and provide a final assessment and merit increment recommendation in writing to the academic staff member and the Dean.

(CA 29.5.2)

Appeals regarding a Head’s assessment to a Faculty Merit Committee must be received on or before September 30.


In order to avoid conflicts of interest, a member of FMC who is appealing his/her own assessment or merit increment must submit the appeal prior to accessing any FMC files.

(CA 29.3.3)

In every case where the performance during the assessment period is deemed to be "unsatisfactory" the Head or equivalent shall clearly state this in writing,and shall outline the performance deficiencies and the improvements expected.

The Dean’s office shall notify the Provost’s Office and the Faculty Association of any “unsatisfactory” recommendations before the meeting of the FMC.

(CA 29.5.5)

The Head’s assessment and merit recommendations shall be reviewed by an FMC that shall meet between October 7 and 31.

When the FMC and/or a Dean is seriously considering lowering an increment to zero the FMC and/or the Dean must notify the academic staff member in writing and give reasons. The FMC and the Dean must give the academic staff member the opportunity to respond in writing, or by appearing before the FMC, or both, at the academic staff member’s discretion. The academic staff member must be given at least five work days to respond. If the academic staff member appears before the FMC, the FMC shall provide the academic staff member with the opportunity to make a presentation, and may ask the academic staff member questions. The academic staff member may be accompanied by an Advisor. The Head or equivalent shall also be invited to the meeting to defend his/her original recommendation.

(CA 29.71 and 29.7.7)

Prior to determining whether the unsatisfactory performance was substantially caused by non-culpable or mitigating circumstances, the Dean shall offer in writing to meet with the academic staff member at least five (5) work days prior to the deadline for submitting his/her recommendation to the General Merit Committee (the “Dean’s Zero Increment Meeting”).

(CA 29.11.2)

Except as noted in Articles 29.7.2a), 29.7.5.b), and Appendix 29A the Dean or equivalent may modify the recommendation of the FMC before submitting it to the GMC. The Dean may not lower a recommendation to an increment of zero unless the provisions of 29.7.7 have been met.

If the Dean modifies the recommendation of the FMC, the Dean shall so advise the GMC, the FMC, the Head, and the academic staff member in writing, specifying the change and giving the reasons for such action.

By November 7, the Chair (Dean) of the FMC shall provide written notice to each academic staff member of the recommendation being forwarded to the GMC along with the deadline for appeals.

In cases where an appeal to the FMC is denied, the Dean shall advise the academic staff member in writing by November 7, giving substantive reasons for the denial of the appeal along with the vote division.

(CA 29.7.8; 29.7.9; 29.7.10;;

Appeals regarding a Dean’s recommendation to the GMC must be received on or before November 23.

Appeals by Academic Administrators shall be heard by the GMC in the first instance.

(CA 29.6.6 and

The Dean and the appellant will be invited to attend the GMC meeting where an appeal is being considered. The appellant and the appellant’s Dean shall be invited to be present together to provide factual information as members of the GMC may request; the appellant and the appellant’s Dean shall not be present when the Committee deliberates and votes on the appeal. Where the Dean was not chairing the FMC during consideration of the case, the Chair shall be invited rather than the Dean.

If the appellant is invited to appear before the GMC but is unable to do so, representative from among the Continuing, Contingent Term, Limited Term, Special Limited Term, or Pre-Tenure Track Appointment academic staff to act on his or her behalf. Alternatively, the appellant may appear before the GMC through teleconferencing or other reasonable accommodation. If no reasonable accommodation is possible, or if the appellant declines the invitation, the GMC may convene based on the written appeal and the Dean shall not be present.

(CA and

General Merit Committee meets.

(CA 29.8.3)

Academic Administrator Appeals

Where appeals are denied by GMC, or in any situation where GMC lowers a recommendation of a Dean, the Academic Administrator may appeal this decision to the Academic Administrators Appeal Committee (AAAC) within ten working days following the receipt of the written decision of the GMC.

(CA 29.6.7)

The GMC shall normally conduct its business in December. However, individual cases may be held over to January when the committee is unable to conclude its business in December.

(CA 29.8.3)

By January 31, the GMC shall provide a final decision regarding merit increment awarded in writing to every academic staff member. The decisions of the GMC are final and binding (except in the case of Academic Administrator appeals to the AAAC).

In the case of appeals, the Chair of GMC shall advise each appellant in writing (with a copy provided to the appellant's Dean and Head and the Faculty Association) of the GMC’s decision. In every case where an appeal is denied the appellant shall be advised in writing of the basis for the decision.

(CA 29.10.1 and 29.10.2)

Where appeals are denied by GMC, or in any situation where GMC lowers a recommendation of a Dean, the Academic Administrator may appeal this decision to the Academic Administrators Appeal Committee (AAAC) within ten working days following the receipt of the written decision of the GMC.

(CA 29.6.7)

AAAC meets to consider all appeals. The decision of AAAC shall be final and binding.

(CA 29.6.9 and 29.6.12)

Academic Portfolio

Academic Portfolio is the University of Calgary’s tool to support the Academic Career processes.

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TUCFA Collective Agreement


June 2021 GFC Academic Staff Criteria & Processes Handbook


April 2019 GFC Academic Staff Criteria & Processes Handbook

For use only under the transitional provisions of the June 2021 GFC Academic Staff Criteria and Processes Handbook (Part A, Section 4.2)